Use your gift cards before they become worthless with stores closing under COVID-19 pandemic

If you're holding onto gift cards, now is the time to use them.

Thanks to COVID-19, many businesses are going under. That means you may have gift cards that will soon be worthless.

Gift cards are one of the most popular gifts to give and get, but if you like to hold onto them, it's a good idea to use them ASAP.

Pier One is just one of the dozens of major retailers closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You also have Party City and New York & Company along with many stores declaring bankruptcy like Ann Taylor, along with JCPenney. Also, don't forget about the local mom and pop restaurants, and small businesses that are not able to survive that are closing up shop, leaving customers with unused gift cards.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson is hearing from frustrated customers of Pier One customers who can't use their gift cards. While Pier One stores are still open, the company is not allowing any gift card to be used, 30 days after each store reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown. Gift cards not used within those 30 days, now have no cash value.

Tuesday, Aug. 11 is the last day to use gift cards in-store at New York & Company, after today you can still use them online.

The Troubleshooter Takeaways you need to think about before you buy a gift card: Make sure you consider the business's financial condition first, also look at the terms and conditions. If you do buy, pay with a credit card as you may be able to dispute the charge if the company goes under quickly after buying it.

There are many businesses offering bonuses if you buy their gift cards. If you do take them up on this offer, just remember to try and use the cards sooner than later so you get the full value.
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